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India to develop desert and coastal circuits in two states
Imran Khan, Mumbai, August 18, 2015

THE states of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh will be the likely beneficiaries of a tourism development initiative by India’s Ministry of Tourism.


The government recently revealed plans to sanction US$13.3 million for developing a desert tourism circuit in Rajasthan. The circuit will boast components such as a railway dining attraction, salt complex, caravan park, cycling track and night safari, among other things.


An additional US$9.5 million will also be spent on developing the town of Pushkar in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. The area is well-known for its religious and cultural sites.


Bhim Singh, chairman of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Rajasthan chapter, said: “We are further requesting help to increase the air connectivity within the state by asking international and domestic airlines to fly to destinations like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer.”


Vasundhra Raje, chief minister of Rajasthan, also urged the government to fund tourist infrastructure projects that are yet to be completed due to the disruption caused by state and national elections in 2014.


Another US$10.7 million has also been earmarked for the development of Hope Island in Andhra Pradesh as a coastal and ecotourism circuit.


Ranga Reddy, chairman of IATO’s Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Chapter, said: "The (allocation) of financial aid to develop this area is a good gesture, but we also need to employ and train staff who can protect the biodiversity and to attract visitors at same time.”

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